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Adémar de Chabannes, Carolingian Musical Practices, and Nota Romana

James Grier
Journal of the American Musicological Society
Vol. 56, No. 1 (Spring 2003), pp. 43-98
DOI: 10.1525/jams.2003.56.1.43
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/jams.2003.56.1.43
Page Count: 56
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Adémar de Chabannes, Carolingian Musical Practices, and Nota Romana
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Abstract

Abstract Writing in 1027–28, Adémar de Chabannes states in his Chronicon that musicians at the court of Charlemagne knew and used musical notation. Authentic Carolingian sources of the eighth and ninth centuries provide striking corroboration of several elements in Adémar's narrative and so suggest that his version of events may be accurate. More important, however, are the parallels between Adémar and the Carolingian sources regarding the concern of the Frankish monarchs of the period for the quality of singing in the Frankish church, and particularly the adoption of the Roman style of performance. It was in this environment that the Frankish cantors may have developed musical notation, probably at Metz in the last decade of the eighth or first of the ninth century, to assist in the preservation and dissemination of Roman nuances of singing.

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